PreludeAfter he is slashed by Tsukishima's Book of the End, Kūgo Ginjō reveals himself to be the person who actually attacked Uryū Ishida. Stabbing Ichigo Kurosaki, Kūgo uses his Cross of Scaffold to absorb his Fullbring. Despairing, Ichigo demands Kūgo return his powers to him, but Kūgo, refusing, states he had the right to take them because he had given them in the first place. Stabbed from behind by a mysterious glowing sword, Ichigo, initially believing the culprit to be either Isshin Kurosaki or Kisuke Urahara, begins to see Rukia Kuchiki appear behind him, holding the sword. An explosion of Reiatsu occurs, and when the dust settles, Ichigo once again has Shinigami abilities. As Ichigo learns all major members of the Gotei 13 gave the special sword their Reiatsu to help Ichigo, members of the Gotei 13, including Renji Abarai, Byakuya, Tōshirō Hitsugaya, Kenpachi Zaraki, and Ikkaku Madarame, appear from a Senkaimon.
Following a brief fight between Kūgo and Ichigo, where Kūgo barely survives a Getsuga Tenshō from Ichigo, Yukio Hans Vorarlberna and the other members of Xcution rush to their location. As the Xcution members complain about Kūgo not sharing Ichigo's powers with them, with Yukio stating they promised to share, Kūgo, telling them to be quiet, uses his Fullbring to cut all of them. As Kūgo states he did intend to share it, they, empowered by the transfer of Ichigo's Fullbring, have their appearances change slightly.
After Kūgo gives the members of Xcution some of Ichigo's power, Tsukishima, approaching him, asks if he is going to give Moe Shishigawara any of this power, saying leaving friends out is bad. Saying Shishigawara's ability would be a pain for them if it were strengthened, Kūgo tells Tsukishima to kill him when the fight is over. Sighing, Tsukishima says he found it to be an interesting ability. After a brief attempt by Ichigo to incapacitate the empowered Xcution members, the Gotei 13 and Xcution begin to pair up for battle. Seeing everyone has arranged who their opponents will be, Yukio decides to separate everyone into "chat room" dimensions with his Fullbring. Prepared to face each other in battle, Tsukishima and Byakuya enter Yukio's "chat room" dimension.
BattleIn the chat room, Tsukishima asks if Byakuya really has time to be staring at the moon. Turning around, Byakuya tells him it is fortunate he is his opponent. When Tsukishima asks why, Byakuya says Ichigo is too lenient, and would not be able to bear his blade for the sole purpose of striking Tsukishima down, and Kenpachi is even less suited, for his only wish is the thrill of battle, so he is not suited for Tsukishima's ability. Stating Byakuya is acting as if he will not be cut, Tsukishima moves to strike Byakuya, who blocks with Senbonzakura without turning around. As Tsukishima is mildly surprised, Byakuya, telling him taking away the bonds of camaraderie is the height of cowardice, says it is a lack of shame which is deserving of being struck down. As Tsukishima, saying he is there, tells him to strike him down, Byakuya tells Tsukishima he shall kill him and cast him aside before Tsukishima finishes swinging his blade.
Both opponents face each other from a distance. Knowing Byakuya's Shikai makes it difficult to get close to him, Tsukishima begins thinking of how to handle him. Asking Tsukishima why he is not making a move, Byakuya states Tsukishima will not be to reach him from so far away. Tsukishima states Byakuya's waiting indicates taking one step closer puts him in the Shinigami's attack range, so he is thinking of a plan. As Byakuya notes Tsukishima is cautious, Tsukishima, cutting a falling leaf, asks if this action was meaningful. Striking the ground, he asks if this move had any meaning. When Byakuya states he thinks it unwise to deem any action by Tsukishima meaningless, Tsukishima, smiling, moves back. Releasing his Shikai, Byakuya sends his blades at the Fullbringer. As Tsukishima dodges, Byakuya redirects his blades at his opponent.
Avoiding the worst of it, Tsukishima lands on the ground. As Byakuya asks if the Fullbringer finally understands he cannot cut him, let alone get close to him, Tsukishima, smiling, states this is the spot. As Byakuya steps on a trigger in the floor, causing a large wall to emerge before collapsing on him, he, dodging it, wonders what just happened. As Tsukishima tells him he had set a trap there, Byakuya sends his Shikai at him again, prompting Tsukishima to strike the attack away. When Byakuya asks when Tsukishima set up this trap, Tsukishima states he did so long ago. When Byakuya thinks Tsukishima has came to the location before many times, Tsukishima asks if the captain had heard of his abilities. As Byakuya realizes what actually happened, Tsukishima reveals his Fullbring can affect any target, even inanimate ones. As Byakuya sends his Shikai forward again, Tsukishima appears behind Byakuya. When Byakuya tries to strike the Fullbringer, Tsukishima, catching his sword arm, reveals his Fullbring also cut through Byakuya's Shikai, so he now has altered its past, and asserts he will never be struck by the Zanpakutō again, stating all of Byakuya's attacks are fully known and boring to him.
As Tsukishima lands a direct blow, slashing Byakuya across the chest, he retaliates with a strike of his own, only for Tsukishima to dodge. Telling Byakuya a moment's hesitation has sealed his fate, Tsukishima reveals he is fully aware of Byakuya's Hurtless Area, knowing the best tactic against his Shikai and Bankai is to get within at least 85 cm of Byakuya's person to avoid damage, but this information is near impossible to discover for an uniformed attacker, so Byakuya has only disclosed this information to a select few. Understanding Tsukishima has "fought" Senbonzakura multiple times and discovered its weakness, Byakuya asks where Tsukishima heard the term Hurtless Area. Stating he heard it from Byakuya himself, Tsukishima, reminding Byakuya he has just been cut by Book of the End, invites Byakuya to come forward and attack, telling the Shinigami any technique he now uses is useless because Tsukishima helped him develop them. Amazed Tsukishima has learned so much about his abilities, Byakuya surmises even his Bankai attacks will have no effect on Tsukishima, which the Fullbringer agrees on. The two resume battle.
As Byakuya proceeds to reseal Senbonzakura to remove the "Hurtless Area", Tsukishima slices Byakuya's blade cleanly in half. Mocking Byakuya, Tsukishima says it was smart to revert to Shikai after his "Hurtless Area" was exploited, and Byakuya's skill with weapons has improved as well. As he concludes Byakuya will have to keep using Shikai since his Zanpakutō is broken, Byakuya expresses disbelief at the 17 months of training proving useless. Disagreeing, Tsukishima says the training was not useless, but he simply improved by the same amount. As Byakuya calmly picks up the severed blade, Tsukishima, mocking him again, asks if he cannot use Shikai if the Zanpakutō is broken. Not responding, Byakuya drops the broken blade piece with his Zanpakutō to activate Bankai. Indifferent, Tsukishima, saying it is boring, appears right behind Byakuya and strikes, saying Byakuya's weapon is useless as long as he gets inside the "Hurtless Area". When Byakuya takes the risk of allowing his blades to enter the area, Tsukishima dodges as Byakuya states the "Hurtless Area" is not a weakness, for Tsukishima knowing of the area merely means he will know where exactly the Fullbringer will attack. He states if he allows blades to enter the "Hurtless Area", he still can kill Tsukishima. Slightly confused, Tsukishima does not remember training this move with Byakuya, who reveals he "trained" it by thinking of it on the spot.
Asking if Byakuya really thinks something like this can hurt him, Tsukishima, moving in to attack, applauds Byakuya's ingenuity and improved speed with his Bankai. Noting the faster the blades get, the more bringing them into the "Hurtless Area" becomes suicidal, Tsukishima exploits the speed of the Bankai by moving close enough to let the blades strike Byakuya's arm, greatly injuring it. Tsukishima states the "Hurtless Area" is simply the area in which Byakuya can safely react and direct any missed attack, so dodging his own attack becomes impossible due to having so little time to adjust if Byakuya brings the blades in to the "Hurtless Area" on top of making them faster. As Tsukishima states Byakuya cannot win, Byakuya raises his injured arm. Believing it to be a desperate attempt to use Kidō, Tsukishima states he knows all the specific counters to them. As he implores Byakuya to try it, Byakuya throws a multitude of tiny blades through Tsukishima's chest. Horrified at having been tricked, Tsukishima realizes Byakuya intentionally let his arm be struck so he could discreetly grab some of his blades to launch at Tsukishima. Admitting to being surprised by Byakuya's new tactic, Tsukishima collapses. Byakuya thanks Tsukishima for a joyful battle, for he had previously thought battle was something to prepare for, but now understands the thrill of battling without being prepared.
As the gravely wounded Tsukishima lies on the ground with his eyes closed, he, "reminding" Byakuya of his debts, asks if he is pained after leaving the Fullbringer to die. While Byakuya admits this and his gratitude, he, noting Tsukishima is an enemy of Ichigo, states he has no qualms striking down Tsukishima on this reasoning, prompting Tsukishima to open his eyes and clench one of his fists.